Advocacy group CUTS to move Delhi HC against cos it says are profiteering

Will speak on behalf of consumers in a case against National Anti-profiteering Authority; Forty-odd companies have challenged NAA findings, court has clubbed petitions as one

A view of Delhi High Court building in New Delhi (Photo: PTI)
Indivjal Dhasmana New Delhi
2 min read Last Updated : Sep 23 2020 | 10:56 PM IST
CUTS International, a consumer advocacy group, will approach the Delhi high court to speak on behalf of consumers in a case against the National Anti-profiteering Authority.  

"CUTS will intervene in the matter in the High Court to defend consumers’ rights to be charged appropriate prices and support the Authority," its secretary general Pradeep S Mehta said.

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Forty-odd companies have challenged the findings of NAA in the Delhi High Court and the court has clubbed these petitions to hear them as one in November. 

Mehta termed these petitions as unfair. 

He expressed deep concern over the benefits of tax rate reduction not being passed on by dealers to consumers by way of actual reduction in the price of the said goods or services supplied by them.

He said as a learning from the VAT experience, legal teeth were provided in GST law by incorporating anti-profiteering provisions to check profiteering by businesses when GST was being rolled out in the country.

He cited a report released in 2010 by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India to buttress his point that dealers did not pass benefits of tax reduction to the consumers in the wake of implementation of state-level value added tax. 

The section 171 of Central GST Act, 2017, provides that any reduction in rate of tax on any supply of goods or services or the benefit of input tax credit shall be passed on to the recipient by way of commensurate reduction in prices.

However, certain companies have challenged the constitutional validity of the provision of CGST anti-profiteering through writ petitions and the anti-profiteering rules questioning the constitutional validity, CUTS said in a statement. 

These petitions point out the lack of methodology and procedure for determination profiteering by companies. 

“Anti-profiteering provisions are a positive step towards protecting consumer interests and rein in unjust enrichment, so that GST does not add to inflation in the economy”, said Mehta.

The intent of the government is to curb inflationary pressure and provide a sigh of relief to the consumers. "It needs to be encouraged and supported by the companies in order to maintain the economic balance, particularly in the pandemic ridden economy, as many consumers are without any jobs or income”, he added.

Topics :Delhi High CourtNational Anti-profiteering Authorityconsumer rightsanti-profiteering

First Published: Sep 23 2020 | 7:18 PM IST

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